Business

Morning business round-up: G20 calls for euro action

What made the business news in Asia and Europe this morning? Here's our daily business round-up:

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Last Updated at 15:53 GMT

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World leaders meeting at a G20 summit in Mexico have urged Europe to take all necessary measures to overcome the eurozone debt crisis.

They voiced unease over what one top official described as "the single biggest risk for the world economy".

But European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said "the challenges are not only European, they are global".

Meanwhile, Spanish borrowing costs on 12 and 18-month bonds jumped to 5.1% at the country's first debt auction since securing a 100bn-euro ($126bn; £81bn) bank bailout.

Madrid raised the intended 3.04bn euros, but the interest rate payable rose from 3% at a similar debt sale on 14 May.

Independent auditors will also delay giving details of Spanish bank debts while they gather more information.

The total bank debt figure will determine the size of bailout needed and is due to be published this week.

Elsewhere in Europe, the UK rate of inflation fell last month to a two-and-a-half year low owing to slowing fuel and food prices.

The Consumer Prices Index measure fell to 2.8% in May from 3% in April, the Office for National Statistics said.

The Retail Prices Index measure, which includes home-loan repayment costs, fell to 3.1% from 3.5% in March.

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In company news, US retailer Walgreen is to pay $6.7bn (£4.3bn) for a 45% stake in UK rival Alliance Boots.

The cash and shares offer will cement Walgreen's position as the world's biggest pharmacy chain.

Alliance Boots runs a chain of chemists in the UK and more than 3,300 health and beauty retail stores in 11 countries around the world.

The company's wholesale business supplies pharmacies and doctors in 21 countries.

As part of the deal, Walgreen would have the option of buying the outstanding Boots shares by 2015, valuing the company at $9.5bn in total.

Imagination Technologies, the British company behind the graphics for the iPad and iPhone, has posted a 53% rise in full-year profits.

Imagination made £36.8m ($57.7m) in adjusted pre-tax profits on revenues up 30% to £127.5m for the year to 30 April, the company said.

Finally, in Japan the president of AIJ Investment Advisors and three others have been arrested for fraud relating to 109bn yen ($1.4bn) of missing pension funds.

AIJ managed money for more than 100 companies, but was stripped of its registration in March after failing to account for most of its clients' funds.

Japanese prosecutors said 7bn yen of the missing money was stolen from clients.

More than 880,000 policy holders have been affected by the losses.

And in our Business Daily podcast, we look at allegations that Google has excluded or demoted websites from its internet search, after the European competition commissioner gave the company "a matter of weeks" to propose remedies to what the EC says are potential "abuses of dominances" in its internet search and advertising business.

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